ECOWAS Moves to Strengthen Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanisms on Gender, Governance and Human Rights
In furtherance of the drive to engender a more stable, peaceful region, the ECOWAS Commission is building the capacities of the ECOWAS National Response Mechanism Coordination Centers (NCCRMs) through a Workshop which began in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire on the 30th of May, 2022.
The 5-Day training Workshop which is bringing together Early Warning analysts, experts as well as stakeholders in the thematic areas of gender, governance and human rights, will among others, also identify the main drivers and challenges of governance and human rights in the region.
Declaring the Workshop open, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission Madam Finda Koroma stated that the focus on gender, governance and human rights issues is timely, given that the ECOWAS Commission has initiated with Member States, a revision of its legal text on peace and security- the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance adopted in 2001.
Vice President Koroma, represented by the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Côte d’IvoireMrs Fanta Cisse, reiterated the resolve of the Commission to remain a melting pot of solidarity, cooperation and integration. She averred that the regional Community’s responses to conflicts which broke out in the 1990s and the crises currently affecting some Member States in the region, only affirm that governance, peace and security are at the heart of the ECOWAS mandate.
According to Vice President Koroma, the ECOWAS Early Warning System aims to prevent and mitigate crises and conflicts through the collection, compilation and dissemination of information. She added that: “the existence of crises, regardless of their political or social, security, humanitarian or political nature, calls for a robust and effective early warning and response systems”.
In his remark, the Director of the ECOWAS National Early Warning and Response Centre (CNAPR), of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Ekanza Gabriel Yoman expressed optimism that the training will help to strengthen staff capacities on the various conflict drivers related to human rights, gender and governance, for the benefit of the people of the region.
Supported by the Counsellor to the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire Ms Ann Marie Konan –Payne, the Executive Secretary of the Equity and Gender Observatory (ONEG) Ms Kaba Yaya Fofana, the Early Warning regional Coordinator of the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), Mr. Ifeanyi Okechukwu as well as the Head of Division, Analysis at Directorate of Early Warning, ECOWAS Commission Ms Maïmona Konate, he commended the establishment of National Centers in West African countries, stating that this helps in the detection of threats and better coordination of responses.
Apart from examining the lack of strong political, economic and social institutions in the region and the resultant impact on good governance and human security, the Workshop will feature presentations and plenary discussions on application of concepts, International/National legal normative frameworks, scenario building, and governance challenges as well as governance best practices resulting from lessons learnt, among others.
Its sessions will also examine the integration of gender in the analysis of risks linked to human security, take stock of the state of governance and democracy in the region, and reflect on the electoral processes that have led to electoral violence in order to draw the appropriate lessons in the light of the relevant international instruments.
The training workshop is supported by the ECOWAS Commission’s Directorate of Political Affairs, the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and WANEP, the European Union (EU) and the German Government through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).